Summary: The new girl in school quickly finds herself attracted to the hot unattainable guy. Turns out that he’s unattainable because he’s a vampire.
Thoughts: I have to admit beforehand that I read the book series first. All of them. I’ve not read many first-person books, and I thought it was clever to get into the main character’s head and only her head. I also have to admit that we saw this movie twice in its opening week, once with RiffTrax, and once just plain on DVD, so I apologize for not writing this review sooner. Anyway, how do you get a book told in the first person to translate to the screen?
I believe the best way is a running voice-over. The problem with that would be that you could excuse poor acting by saying “I was confused” instead of actually looking confused. Twilight starts out with a voice-over, but it quickly disappears only to reappear in spots where the book had some nice phrasing.
And that’s my problem with the movie. Not the sparkling vampires so much, but the fact that most of the drama and story is told INSIDE the main character’s head and since we’re not allowed in there except randomly it kind of makes the movie boring. It also makes her look insane. In the book, you have a better time understanding why Bella falls for this standoffish brash immortal killer, but in the movie, she’s throwing googoo eyes at him the more jerkish he’s being. It just doesn’t work for me.
The special effects are so-so. The wirework is overdone and a bit too floaty. Not only do the vampires sparkle (which looks like too much glitter makeup), but what gets me is the sound they play when they’re in the sun. It’s a bit much. We can see that he sparkles, we don’t need to hear it.
The casting is good, but I think the standout selection is the guy they got to play Bella’s dad, Billy Burke. He plays the wants-to-be-overprotective-but-doesn’t-want-to-drive-his-daughter-away father perfectly. The vampires act sufficiently creepy, but I’m not sure if that was on purpose (“Be awkward!” “Stare like you’re crazy!”).
Do I see the “Mormon messages” the movie and books are supposed to portray? Not really. I don’t see vampirism to represent loss of virginity or any of that. I see a pretty good movie about vampires. Is it best for teenage girls? Sure. Can anyone enjoy it? I believe so.
Overall: Not bad, but the book is better.